WITH THE MARINERS.
The opening of navigation is now the one topic of conversation in marine circles. For the past two years it has not opened until April 6th, but some of the "prophets" are inclined to believe that it will be earlier this year. The warm spell of the past few days, no doubt, has led many to believe that there will be a breakup of the ice.
The records go to show that last year, and the year 1908, navigation opened on the same date, April 6th, and that in 1907 the vessels made a start a good deal earlier, on March 28th. During the last twelve years, the earliest date for the opening was on March 13th.
If the mild spell should continue, it would not take long for the ice to disappear, as the sun is now very strong. The way Old Sol came out yesterday made the route between Kingston and Wolfe Island very unpleasant for travelling. The route to Cape Vincent is also in bad condition, but the stages have managed to get through all right.
With the Montreal Transportation company everything is very busy getting ready for the opening. The list of crews is being arranged for and in a week or so now this part of the work will be arranged for (sic). All the vessels which required repairing have been attended to, the grain barges have been overhauled, and everything will be in readiness for the grain rush.
The government boats will be the first to make their appearance, as they will have to set out all the buoys.
Some Marine Notes.
Capt. Patenaude, of Montreal, has arrived in the city, to take charge of the steamer Bickerdike.
Capt. Edward Smith, who has been spending a few days in the city, has returned to his home in Seeley's Bay.
The wharf at Richardsons' which is used for the loading of feldspar is being repaired. Michael Flynn, foreman of the feldspar mines, is in charge of the work.
The steambarge Sowards has been undergoing extensive repairs during the past few weeks, and will be in fine shape for the first run of the season. The genial captain, Max Shaw, will be in command of the Sowards again this season.
Winter Marine News.
The fleets of the Etna and Cleveland Steamship companies have been merged and the capital stock of the combination will be $3,000,000. The company will carry its own insurance.
Three or more launchings will take place at the Detroit yards within the next two weeks. The Champlain, for Northern Lakes Steamship Company, and the Arlington and Brandon, for the Rutland line, are about ready to be dropped in.
Work has been begun on the Richardson, sunk at Buffalo. A cofferdam is to be built around the steamer and with good weather conditions she will be quickly raised. Her condition, it is said, is not as bad as at first reported.
About 300 feet of the New York Central dock at Charlotte, started last fall, has been completed and will be ready for use on the opening of navigation. The plan is to increase it ultimately to three times that length.
Ice in Duluth harbor is twenty-nine to thirty-one inches thick, the heaviest since 1904, when it was thirty-six inches. In the lakes it averages seven inches.